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Boris Johnson is making an announcement at 5pm today

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Number 10/Flickr

Prime minister Boris Johnson is set to hold a press conference tonight at 5pm.

It is expected, in his address to the nation, that Johnson will reveal the latest statistics regarding vaccinations, including the news that the Oxford vaccine can stop transmission by up to two-thirds.

Scientists at Oxford University have revealed that the rollout of vaccines across the country could have already started to stop the virus spreading.

They found that there was a 67% drop in positive swabs among those who have been vaccinated.

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This means those vaccinated have protection from catching the virus and therefore passing it on, as well as also being less likely to get a severe case or die. 

A Tory minister told The Sun: “This is the news we have all been waiting for.

“At last. If this data is correct today will be seen as the turning point in this whole pandemic.”

The prime minister is also expected to pay tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore who died on Tuesday at 100-years-old. 

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Earlier today, Priti Patel said she was ‘concerned’ over the lack of uptake in the vaccine by minority communities. 

She said: “I’m here today at the Neasden Temple because the Temple have used their school buildings to set up a vaccination site, hear in Neasden, in Brent to really get that message out to the local community and to ethnic groups, different ethnic groups around here, but also around the country – please take the vaccine.

“I am concerned, we are all concerned, as we’re hearing messages of misinformation, disinformation associated with the vaccine, and I’ve had the complete privilege today to see people locally come in at this vaccine centre to be vaccinated.

“I’ve met the heroic workers the people on the front line, members of the NHS, members of the army but also volunteers from this temple as well, that are bringing people in to get vaccinated.”

She added: “My message is really, really clear. Take the vaccine, once it gets offered to you. Please take it, it can save your life and it’ll save the lives of others.”

Number 10/Flickr

Boris is also due to reveal the ‘phased’ route out of lockdown on February 22nd.

A Whitehall source told The Telegraph: “These findings are exactly what we need. It’s looking good for schools returning in March, shops reopening in April.”

Another senior Government source added: “We hope it will be safe to commence the reopening of schools from March 8th, with other economic and social restrictions being removed thereafter as and when the data permit.”

Matt Hancock hailed the news of the Oxford studies this morning but added that it was too early to lift any lockdown rules as there are still 30,000 people in hospital with the virus. 

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Rishi Sunak boasts about taking money from ‘deprived urban areas’ to give to wealthy towns

His comments have been slammed as ‘scandalous’ by MPs

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The New Statesman

Rishi Sunak was seen boasting about diverting funding from ‘deprived urban areas’ to wealthy towns in a newly unearthed video.

In the clip, which was obtained and released by The New Statesman today, the former chancellor can be seen proudly telling Conservative members that he had started changing public funding formulas to ensure more affluent towns receive ‘the funding they deserve’.

During the meeting, which is said to have taken place last week in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Sunak was heard saying: “I managed to start changing the funding formulas to make sure areas like this are getting the funding they deserve. 

“Because we inherited a bunch of formulas from Labour that shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas and that needed to be undone.

“I started the work of undoing that.”

Sunak’s comments have been met with an overwhelming wave of backlash from both Conservative and Labour MPs alike, with the shadow levelling up secretary Lisa Nandy slamming them as ‘scandalous’. 

Nandy tweeted: “This is scandalous. Rishi Sunak is openly boasting that he fixed the rules to funnel taxpayers’ money to rich Tory shires  This is our money.

“It should be spent fairly and where it’s most needed – not used as a bribe to Tory members. Talk about showing your true colours…”.

Tory MP Jake Berry also condemned the remarks as he attacked Mr Sunak’s leadership campaign, tweeting: “In public @RishiSunak claims he wants to level up the North, but here, he boasts about trying to funnel vital investment away from deprived areas?

“He says one thing and does another – from putting up taxes to trying to block funding for our armed forces and now levelling up.”

However, a source for Sunak’s prime ministerial campaign did not dispute the video and instead defended it.

They said: “Levelling up isn’t just about city centres, it’s also about towns and rural areas all over the country that need help too. That’s what he changed in the green book and he will follow though as prime minister.

“Travelling around the country, he’s seen non-metropolitan areas that need better bus services, faster broadband or high quality schools. That’s what he’ll deliver as prime minister.”

A vote among the Conservative Party’s membership will choose either Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss as the next prime minister. This will be announced on September 5th.

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Archie Battersbee cannot be moved to a hospice, High Court rules

Medics have said the risks in transferring Archie to a hospice would be ‘major and unpredictable’

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Hollie Dance & Sky News

An application to move Archie Battersbee into a hospice has been denied today by the High Court. 

The twelve-year-old’s family appealed for the move yesterday (August 4th), saying they wanted to ‘spend his last moments’ together with family privately and give him the opportunity to die ‘peacefully and privately’.

However, medical experts called the risks involved in a transfer to a hospice ‘major and unpredictable’, which the judge agreed with.

The judge has also refused permission to appeal against her ruling after lawyers for the family requested it.

Archie has been described by medics as being in a ‘difficult and increasingly compromised position’. 

Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the Royal London Hospital where Archie is being treated, has said that the youngster’s condition is too unstable for him to be transferred.

They argued that moving him to a hospice via ambulance ‘would most likely hasten the premature deterioration the family wish to avoid, even with full intensive care equipment and staff on the journey’.

The hospital has said a number of arrangements can be made for the family that will ‘ensure that Archie’s best interest will remain the focus of the final arrangements to enable him peacefully and privately to die in the embrace of the family he loved’. 

The family may now pursue a challenge directly with the Court of Appeal, with Mrs. Justice Theis today granting a stay on the withdrawal of treatment until 2pm today to allow time for an appeal to be lodged.

Justice Theis said of her ruling, as per Sky News: “Archie’s best interests must remain at the core of any conclusions reached by this court. I return to where I started, recognising the enormity of what lays ahead for Archie’s parents and the family.

“Their unconditional love and dedication to Archie is a golden thread that runs through this case. I hope now Archie can be afforded the opportunity for him to die in peaceful circumstances, with the family who meant so much to him as he clearly does to them.”

Archie was found unconscious in his home in Essex back in April after taking part in what his mother, Hollie Dance, believes to be an online challenge.

Archie has never regained consciousness, and doctors say it is ‘highly likely’ the child is brain stem dead and is only alive through artificial means. His condition has been the centre of a highly-publicised legal battle, with his parents fighting to keep his life support switched on to ‘give him time to recover’.

 

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Former rugby player ‘died after suffering heart attack while beating up girlfriend’

The woman was reportedly left in a wheelchair following the attack

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Ricky Bibey / Instagram & Jennie Platt / Facebook

A former British Rugby League player died after suffering a heart attack as he ‘viciously beat up’ his girlfriend on holiday in Italy.

Jennie Platt, forty-four, needed three operations after she was allegedly beaten up by her boyfriend Ricky Bibey, forty, in their room at the Hotel Continentale in Florence, in the early hours of July 16th.

Jennie, who runs Jennie Platt Estates and Lettings in Manchester, has arrived back in the UK after a hospital stay in Florence, but has not been well enough to return to work due to ‘significant’ injuries said to have left her in a wheelchair.

A family friend told the MailOnline that Jennie was devastated after the ‘shocking and violent’ attack.

Ricky Bibey / Instagram

They said: “She has been doing all she can to help the Italian authorities piece together what happened that night, speaking to them as a witness and as a victim of a domestic assault.”

The friend added that, because Ricky had been well liked and respected in the Rugby League community, it was likely that people would find it difficult to hear what happened.

They said Jennie had suffered a number of serious injuries, including one to her eye socket which was ‘very worrying’. She is currently in a wheelchair while she recovers from the assault, they added.

An autopsy showed that Ricky, who made appearances for England, Wigan Warriors, Leigh Centurions and St. Helens, died from a heart attack.

While toxicology results are yet to be confirmed, police said Ricky had taken both alcohol and cocaine, a combination they believe provoked his death.

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Platt’s lawyer Stefano Goldstein said in a statement: “My client Jennie was the victim of terrible assault and needed several operations during a lengthy stay in hospital.

“She has cooperated fully with the authorities who are investigating the matter and we expect the case to be closed within the next few days but for Jennie the trauma of what happened will not end as she will need medical care in England.

“Jennie has explained to the police that the night Ricky died he was completely out of control and that he had attacked her.”

They expect the case to be closed in the coming days.

If you or anyone you know are victims of domestic violence, you can contact the Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 254 0909, or alternatively visit the Domestic Abuse Helpline website.

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